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  • The original Rudolph did not have a red nose. In that day and age, red noses were seen as an indicator of chronic alcoholism and Montgomery Ward didn’t want him to look like a drunkard. To complete the original picture, he was almost named Reginald or Rollo.
  • The Christmas wreath was originally hung as a symbol of Jesus. The holly represents his crown of thorns and the red berries the blood he shed.
  • The three traditional colors of most Christmas decorations are red, green and gold. Red symbolizes the blood of Christ, green symbolized life and rebirth, and gold represents light, royalty and wealth.
  • Tinsel was invented in 1610 in Germany and was once made of real silver.
  • The oldest artificial Christmas trees date back to the late 1800s and were made of green raffia (think grass hula skirts) or dyed goose feathers. Next the Addis Brush Company used their machinery that wove toilet brushes to create pine-like branches for artificial Christmas trees that were less flammable and could hold heavier decorations.
  • ‘Jingle Bells’ – the popular Christmas song was composed by James Pierpont in Massachusetts, America. It was, however, written for thanksgiving and not Christmas.
  • Coca-Cola was the first company that used Santa Claus during the winter season for promotion.
  • Hallmark introduced their first Christmas cards in 1915.
  • The first recorded date of Christmas being celebrated on December 25th was in 336, during the time of the Roman Emperor Constantine. A few years later, Pope Julius I officially declared that the birth of Jesus would be celebrated on that day.
  • Santa Claus's sleigh is led by eight reindeer: Dasher, Dancer, Prancer, Vixen, Comet, Cupid, Dunder (variously spelled Donder and Donner), and Blixem (variously spelled Blixen and Blitzen), with Rudolph being a 20th-century inclusion.
  • Outdoor Christmas lights on homes evolved from decorating the traditional Christmas tree and house with candles during the Christmas season. Lighting the tree with small candles dates back to the 17th century and originated in Germany before spreading to Eastern Europe.
  • That big, jolly man in the red suit with a white beard didn’t always look that way. Prior to 1931, Santa was depicted as everything from a tall gaunt man to a spooky-looking elf. He has donned a bishop's robe and a Norse huntsman's animal skin. When Civil War cartoonist Thomas Nast drew Santa Claus for Harper's Weekly in 1862, Santa was a small elflike figure who supported the Union. Nast continued to draw Santa for 30 years, changing the color of his coat from tan to the red he’s known for today.
  • Christmas 2018 countdown has already begun. Will you be ready???
  • Why do we love Christmas? It's all about the traditions. In this chaotic world we can miss the "good old days." Christmas reminds us of that time.
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About [email protected]

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    Senior Member
  • Birthday 12/05/1972

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  • My favorite Christmas story
    "A Christmas Story"
  • Location
    Cypress, California, USA
  • Biography
    I love lights!
  • Interests
    Lights, Computers, Electronics, Websites
  • Occupation
    Light Addict
  • About my display
    160 LOR channels, 60 amps of power, 33,000 lights on the house...30,000+ still in boxes awaiting their debut. We have light displays on Christmas, Halloween and now the 4th of July!

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  1. Sorry, west-coaster... Cypress, California (Orange County by Knotts Berry Farm and Disneyland areas)
  2. Check this out: http://www.youtube.com/user/thelightaddict#p/u/14/D7z_KkACExk http://www.youtube.com/user/thelightaddict#p/u/17/PH1z-n__YRY While on YT, look at my other videos (the 2009 heli lift tests). The lift makes an 8 foot inflatable helicopter go 10 feet above my roof. The four-link allows it to go up and down and keep the platform level. Below is my wiring diagram for the relay that I can either trigger with a wireless remote and directly from LOR. I made it so the show controls it, but I can make it go up in between shows when I want to. And I put a switch in there to prevent it from going up if needed (example: I am going to add a relay to it so if the wind is high it will not go up even if LOR tells it to). The way the relays are wired, as long as the 12 volt power supply has power, the motor should always return down (like if LOR goes off). http://www.cypresslights.com/howtos/relays.htm (the diagram is second from the bottom). Hope this helps.
  3. Just chiming in with some other uses for relays: http://www.cypresslights.com/howtos/relays.htm Like what is asked above (by making_it_easy), specifics of what you are controlling will help determine the relay you need. They are great for controlling things.
  4. Jenny and I had a great time! Thank you to everyone for their kind words about my display. Hope you were all able to take a little something to help enhance your displays. I agree with Orangedog that is went by sooo fast. We are planning on a Halloween party on the 23rd of Oct. If any of you want to make the trip down, we'd love to have you! I'll post athread closer to the season, so save the date now. And Carl and Phyllis... all I heard on the way home is "how long until you can get my new fence built?!" Thanks to Howard and Deb for hosting an awesome gathering! Barry... I'll be wearing my new shirt to work on Friday... Christmas or not!
  5. Cut and extend each line one at a time. Determine where you want to cut. Take the three wires, and just cut 1 of them. Add your extension wire, then cut the next and so on. I'm not at my normal computer so I've drawn this in paint for you (forgive how it looks... I'm much better with Photoshop ) One wire goes to the first light then continues to the absolute last light then to the end connector. This would be the hot. Then next wire goes to the last light in the first daisy-chained group (of 50) then immediately jumps to become the first light of the next group then continues to the end connector. This would be the neutral. The third wire will only be found in each grouping of 50. This is what daisy-chains the minis in groups. So it will be important to make sure to reconnect each wire where it needs to connect to.
  6. You're funny Doc! I can't wait for Saturday. I know I gave you a sneak-peek at some things I'm bringing up, but have found a few others that I can bring to share. Looks to me that many of us will have tons of stuff to show and tell... we might be extending into the dinner hour. How long do we have the facility? I've heard of a "Show In A Box" but at the rate I'm gathering things to show I'll have the first "Show In A Car" Just kidding (or am I...?) And to those of you within reach of Morrow Bay...and that have not yet decided to come... WHAT ARE YOU WAITING FOR, AN INVITATION?!?!? See you all Saturday!
  7. I don't post often but felt compelled with the way this thread evolved. Ben, Everybody on this site means well. Trust me. Even if some posts do seem like they come off a little... strong... one way or another. I posted a simple question a long time ago and was given (what felt like) the third-degree. I felt sooo bad and hurt after my @$$ chewing that I did not post again for a long time. I have been around here for a long time and these guys mean no harm. With that said I have some thoughts and would like to give my 2 cents worth as I had thought about what you are asking too. You posted: ...using a larger motor and running multiple inflatables... create a PVC manifold...to...branch off to multiple inflatables... cut down energy used and eliminate multiple timers to start at different times... how to attach "tubes" from PVC manifold into the inflatables... remove the motor from the inflatable... have any suggestions?" I cut your questions down for recap-sake. So, putting all disclaimers and power-to-cost reasons aside, here are my suggestions. I have a carpet air-mover lying around. The place that grooms my dog also has one but on the front of theirs is some piece of plastic with flexible 'tubes' (4 of them) that come out and are placed in front of the groomers drying cages to blow the pets dry. With that idea, (and if you had an air mover like I do), you could make a box or piece in front of the air mover and connect your PVC pipes or tubes to it to make your manifold. Then run the pipes/tubes to each inflatable. When you take the motors out, it might be a simple round or square section cut out of the material where the motor is placed and they sandwich a ring on there to hold the material to the motor. So you could make a square or round piece of something (plywood, plastic, etc) to close off the hole, then cut a new hole for your pipe/tube. (Movie quote alert: I just thought of the movie Apollo 13 where the CO2 was going up and they had to make a square CO2 scrubber filter fit into the round hole.) That's what many of us do around here... make things work. Case in point... Toymakr000 uses an old propane tank as his flying Santa counterbalance. (Sorry to point you out Gary, but you're on my mind for our pumpkins project). Some of the posts above hit some other key points, like the CFM (cubic feet per minute). It will take a certain volume of air and pressure to keep each inflatable up. You're in luck that you are starting to think of this now (in March) so you have several months of playing with pipe/tube sizes to get the volumes right. The beauty of our hobbies are the experimentation and (especially for me) the constant trips to Home Depot. I spent so much time there from Sept to Dec last year, a couple people knew me by name Since I just have ideas, I will finish here. If I knew how to calculate air (volume, flow, length, etc) I'd tell 'ya, but I don't so I'll leave that to the HVAC specialist. For me, I run 3 inflatables (4 motors) for Halloween, 1 for Fourth of July, and 4 for Christmas. 4th of July runs one full week before the 4th, Halloween runs two full weeks before Halloween and Christmas runs the full month of December. Between these times they stay inflated 24/7 (unless the winds kick up...rarely). They all run in the front yard which is directly next to my bedroom window in the front of the house. I have an older house and have yet to replace the window with something double-paned for quietness, so I just deal with the blower noise. It is not bad enough (or the electric bill bad enough) to try for the one-blower-multiple-inflatables idea. I don't want to close with "good-luck" because that would sound like I gave you an idea...go have fun and be gone with 'ya. I am now interested in what you come up with, so I will close with "have fun and keep us posted". And, as always, do come back and bring your pictures with you. See you around here again soon Matthew-
  8. I get voice overs from The Demented Elf. He did a great one that I run when we get bad weather. Had to run it last night. I have a spot light on my radio station sign that runs all night on it's own (not from the show). Then I just cancel the show and run Windows Media Player with the weather file. It just keep s looping and broadcasting until I run the regular show again.
  9. I use large bicycle wheels with small idler pulleys to guide the line. Some of my distances are quite far (about 60 feet) so the trick I found is to angle the wheel at a steep angle and use idler pulleys to push on the fishing line so it has to make a bit of a swoop up to go around the wheel. This way the weight of the object doesn't pull itself off the wheel as it comes up to it. The fishing line I use is 80# Dacron (about $5.00 per 100 yards) and is small and very strong. The clear stuff just stretches in the sunlight. I ran out of time this year and did not put up my flying objects, but here is a YouTube of my flying bat ( ) from a couple years ago where you can see some of the pulleys I made. You can see a little bit of how the bat approaches the wheel and when it gets to the pulley it makes a bit of a hop upwards then goes around the wheel. Another trick I found is to hang the object down a bit...not attch it right to the line, bit down about 6 inches or so. And for the ghosts, when it hangs from the head I put another line from its back a little farther back on the line to keep it going forward. I sketched what my pulleys look like below.
  10. Great idea. So it sounds like the seams may be leaking. I drove all over yesterday, and even drove 45 minutes up to LA to try to find oil based solutions, but no one seems to carry it. They just have the water-based Fog Juice. A 7 1/2 hour quest... Do the blowers go bad? I am getting the 122 vac at the cord, but am wondering if they a just slowing down or something. They sound good and seem to be blowing a good volume...and the problem did not solve when I added the extra air from the shop-vac. Just a little stressed as time is drawing near to halloween night.
  11. I can pick it up but it just falls back down. Two of the pilars don't have wires in them.
  12. I have a Gemmy 12 foot castle that I bought new in 2007. Works great the last 2 seasons but I pulled it out of the box this year and cannot get it to stand straight. I have closed all of the zippers (for those that have these... the two by each blower, the one in the main doorway and the other up by the roof peak). I have gone around it looking for holes and sewed a 1" seam tear. I also cleaned the air-inlet screens and debris catches. The things just will not stand up. It is almost as though is it not getting enough air. I tested the voltage for the motors and am getting 122 vac at the plug. I also tried using my shop vac in the blower position and stuck the hose in one of the zippers (above the main doorway) to try to push a little more air in, but that did not help. From the pictures you can see the castle and it appears to be caving into itself. Some of the other pics show where the corner supports are bent (telling me that there is not enough air pressure or something???) If you know what is happening, please let me know so I can fix it. I can't have kids walking thru it like this. Thanks. Matthew-
  13. If you really want them...they WILL fit. But that is...only if you REALLY want them! Anyone suggest Duct tape yet? Oh, and I like the burrito on the roof idea.
  14. I used chop sticks. I stick them in at a bit of an angle. At the end of the season I just stood in one place and balled the lights on my hand (in groups of three). Most just slid off the chop stick, some sticks broke. Since they are light wood, most of the sticks were "taken care of" during the first lawn mow. I didn't hear any complaints from the gardener Cost about 1.99 per pack of a hundred. Cheap AND bio-degradable AND lawn-mower friendly!
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